SIFF Showcases International Short Films

SIFF Showcases International Short Films
The 13 short films being shown at the Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth are an example of how the medium is pushing the boundaries of the art form

Sharjah, October 11, 2019

Short films provide an indispensable platform for young and established filmmakers to practice and hone their craft and creativity without undergoing the financial risks a feature film entails. They are also an important learning ground, transcending the traditional modes of cinematic storytelling. It is a way for filmmakers, festivals and distributors to experiment, as evidenced by the number of short films being shown at the 13th Sharjah International Film Festival for Children and Youth (SIFF), which returns from October 13-17.

In the past few years, SIFF has allocated more space for short films in their programmes, providing short filmmakers fantastic opportunities for exposure. Festivals like SIFF continue to help launch the careers of emerging talent. The audience response, exposure, awards and networking opportunities at SIFF has proved the mainstay of filmmakers who dabble in genres that do not have immediate commercial viability but allow experimentation. Short films are here to stay, and they have found a welcoming platform at SIFF.

There are 13 films being shown under the International Short Film category from various countries such as Colombia, Spain, India, Iran, Mexico, Tunisia, Canada, UK, Croatia. Here, we showcase a few of the films being screened in the international short film category.

Horse’s Stone
Matilde is a little girl who is ill and friends with a horse named Olones. Thousands of years ago, men and horses lived in harmony. But due to a betrayal by the king of men, war broke out and the horses were enslaved. A horse’s stone is a stone that has to be passed on to a human who is trustworthy enough, which will give birth to a new alliance. With Matilde and Olones, the lines between fantasy and reality get blurred.

The director, Cynthia Fernández Trejo, was born in 1991 in Mexico City. She has worked as a writer and has developed her own unique style of filmmaking style that has been lauded at several film festivals.

Left Right
Yassine is in elementary school where his father is a teacher. He is left-handed much to the dismay of his father who keeps trying to make Yassine use his right hand. Yassine loves playing football and his neighbour notices that he is good at it. Yassine starts playing for a football club but his father forbids him from playing. The tussle between left and right will have far reaching consequences.

The director, Moutii Dridi, was born in 1993 in Tunisia. After working as an assistant director for five years, he participated with five films in the official competitions of the 14th International Oriental Film Festival of Geneva. His first film, ‘Left Right’ has won the short film Golden FIFOG..

Stardust
Adan the son of a poor trash collector in Mexico cannot even dare to dream. Day in and day out, he helps his father make his rounds collecting garbage – trash is his world. One day, chance takes him to a classroom where the teacher is explaining how the universe came into existence. Mesmerised, Adan spends the whole day thinking about it. His father cannot understand what’s happening till he sees his son’s passion.

‘Stardust’ is Aldo Sotelo Lazaro’s first fiction film as a director. Born in Mexico City in 1989, he studied communications and worked as journalist before turning to filmmaking.

Spellbound
Rishi, a schoolboy, tells his friend Imran: “Wouldn’t school be fun if there was a witch around?” Unfortunately, his wish comes true. Rishi and Imran love reading horror stories. But one day the excitement turns to fear when the tale Rishi is reading starts mimicking reality. He is sure that the new girl, Veronica, is a witch, but he has to prove it somehow. He steals her red diary to discover her magical secrets. They turn out to be what he least expected.

The director, Sohit Khanna, is a screenwriter and filmmaker from Mumbai who has worked on several projects for film and television. He has written two feature-length films which are at different stages of development.

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